Saturday, June 4, 2011


Approaching the age of 80 as I am brings with it (in my case anyway) various medical problems and I have always felt that one must feel at ease with, and confident in, any medical people one has to deal with about any medical problems.

I have had some really good GPs over the year and if I've found one I am not comfortable with then I change to another that works. The one MOH and I have right now is a fantastic fellow with whom we both feel very comfortable and in my case he is good because he does have a great understanding of muscles, tendons and joints. He is a doctor with an AFL (Aussie Rules)football club here in W.A. so deals each week with those type of problems. He also deals with other problems we have and tries his hardest to solve any of those problems for us. He was wonderful when I had shingles on my face last year.

Our endocrinologist is a professor but there is nothing lardie dah about him and he is just so easy to talk to and you feel that you can ask questions and receive straightforward answers. My diabetes (after 15 years) had decided the tablets I was taking were not doing there job any more so when I saw the professor last Wednesday I heard the dreaded words "It's time for insulin". Coming from him it didn't sound all that bad!! Fortunately MOH has been using insulin (3 times a day) for nearly 18 months now so I didn't need any instructions from a diabetes educator as I have at home with me someone who wields a pretty good needle. I only have to have the insulin on retiring and it's great not having to do it myself. That man of mine is so good to me and I love him so much for all the things he does to help me.

Our podiatrist is a good chap too (MOH only goes once a year to have his feet checked) but I go every 8 weeks cos I can't reach my toenails..not just my size but my joints won't let me do it... but John is very thorough and when he massages my feet at the end of the visit with Sorbolene...mmm it is a great feeling.

We also have a terrific dermatologist we visit each year as this being a very sunny country can play havoc with our skins. MOH and I are fortunate in not having much in the way of skin problems although MOH did have a small skin cancer cut from his ear a year or so back. I have had a type of laser treatment to stop my face having that rosy glow and it has done the trick very well (I must admit it hurts a bit....feels like an elastic band snapping on the skin). We see him again in July and are quite looking forward to it.

Now..about eyes. MOH has glaucoma and see his opthamologist every 6 months for testing and they get on well together without any problems. Me? I too have visited him several times and I just don't feel confident with him. I rang recently to see when I was due to see him next and they didn't even have a bring up for me which I thought was bad. He had sent me to an optician who was very good but the spectacle firm for whom he worked did not perform very well at all. I had to go back 4 times for the lenses to be changed and they are still not right. My daughter (Kakka) recommended an optometrist she and her family have been seeing for 20 years or more so I made an appointment to see him last Thursday. He was an absolute delight but was full of surprises. I have cataracts and the fellow MOH and I see when asked what was the prognosis about my cataracts said in a flippant manner "Oh we may have to do something in one or ten years". That did not go down well with me. I know these things are unpredictable but...really. On Thursday I was asked if I was averse to having a cataract operation to which I said "No of course not. Why?" The reponse was that both my eyes needed to be done and I have been referred to an opthamologist who I will be seeing next Tuesday. I just hope I find him as reassuring as my visit to Mr P last week. I am interested to know what this doctor will have to say about it all.

I know this has been a little longwinded but I feel very strongly about the medical care we receive. We must feel comfortable with those that care for us and we must always ask questions and receive reassuring answers and not be fobbed off in any way. I know doctors have hard decisions to make and it must be unbelievably bad to have to tell someone they don't have long to live so I feel for them about that. Nevertheless whether it is an ingrown toenail or something more serioius like diabetes etc., we patients need to know what is going on (after all they are OUR bodies) so never hesitate to ask appropriate questions.

P.S. I forgot my wonderful lady in particular who manages to keep me mobile most of the time and the other who has set up this lymphatic massage which has stopped my feet being waterlogged following my 2 hip replacement ops. MOH and I do this massage between us each evening and with the use of pressure knee highs it has been magic. I takes a while and can be a little tiring but well worth it. It's only leg and foot massage so nothing compicated.

We don't get out and about much these days so I guess a lot of our outings are to medical appointments etc but it always pays to feel good about anyone in that field you are about to see. I now feel confident about all who care for me and MOH for which I am very thankful and grateful.

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